Poll

How often do you use house rules when playing Carcassonne?

Always
3 (10.3%)
Very often (but not always)
7 (24.1%)
Sometimes
2 (6.9%)
Rarely
4 (13.8%)
Nearly never
7 (24.1%)
Never
6 (20.7%)

Total Members Voted: 28

Author Topic: Do you use house rules?  (Read 1697 times)

Offline Doom_Shark

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Re: Do you use house rules?
« Reply #15 on: October 06, 2022, 07:02:11 PM »
Who cares if it is a minor deviation!?  The only important question is whether it is more fun for your game.  The answer is obviously yes, so this is a great house rule!

The true measure of a house rule!

I myself don't really use house rules, unless you count renaming some things for clarity (I intend to call Ghosty Spook Night Castle tiles Manors instead, for example)
« Last Edit: October 06, 2022, 07:04:04 PM by Doom_Shark »

Offline ny1050220

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Re: Do you use house rules?
« Reply #16 on: October 06, 2022, 07:08:17 PM »
I guess this is now a reply to kothmann's review. (Just when can I really leave academia? ;D)

Quote
It's easy to see that it's more difficult to achieve this 22-pennant feat as the number of players increases.
In a multi-player game, “conspiracy” is how you win!  This is the magic of multi-player Carcassonne!  In particular, in a 7-player game, two players would likely be happy to join two giant pennant-filled cities in order to make the game effectively a 2-player game from then on.

Completely agree. In the meanwhile, when the game effectively becomes a 2-player game in a 7-player game, you'll need those 21 tiles in your and your teammate's share of 40 tiles. Even more difficult than getting those 21 tiles in your share of 70 tiles in a real 2-player game. Therefore, my original statement still holds.

Quote
your opponent does not help you build your monster city with a fragment containing pennants, ever. (Fair assumption, eh?)
No.  Even in a 2-player game, with I&C, you might gladly place a CCRR tile with a pennant in a way that adds to an opponent’s big city if: that city is not close to complete and contains a Cathedral; the road connects your single Inn to a long road on which you and your opponent both have one meeple (thus completing the road and scoring you all the points at 2/tile); and/or the tile connects farms in a way that is advantageous to you.  More simply, you might repeatedly add CCCF and CCCR tiles with pennants to a city with a Cathedral if the opponent gets close to completing it.
If your opponent helps you with up to 5 tiles out of the 21 you need, there are this many ways:
combination(119,50)*combination(21,20) + combination(119,51)*combination(21,19) + combination(119,52)*combination(21,18) + combination(119,53)*combination(21,17) + combination(119,54)*combination(21,16)
= 7.7e38
(I'm using WolframAlpha's terminology, as that's what I used for the calculation.)
Divided it by 9.4e40, and you get < 0.01. That's still a very small probability.

I recognize that there are more than 5 CCCX tiles with pennants that your opponent will gladly add to your monster city if they think that'll make it difficult for you to complete it, especially if there is already a cathedral in the city. Here are the catches:
1. All these tiles need to appear relatively late in your opponent's 70-tile sequence.
2. You need at least another specific tile (cathedral) to be in your 70-tile sequence.
So some of combination(119,55)*combination(21,15) = 1.9e39 need to be discounted. I'm not sure how many, and this is when wave my hands and say that needs some computer simulations.

Who cares if it is a minor deviation!?
We feel it is a minor deviation AND it makes the game more fun for us by lessening the work needed to count, so we happily adopted this one all the time. The other house rule we sometimes use, expanding the tower's range, is a large deviation, so I do like it that much. It was the "minor deviation" I wanted to defend when the nerd mode turned on.

Offline kothmann

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Re: Do you use house rules?
« Reply #17 on: October 06, 2022, 07:56:54 PM »
…you get < 0.01. That's still a very small probability…. It was the “minor deviation” I wanted to defend when the nerd mode turned on.

Defense successful!

Seriously it was an interesting reply!  Thanks.  :)

Offline joe_abbot

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Re: Do you use house rules?
« Reply #18 on: December 28, 2022, 04:57:30 AM »
In my group we have some fixed house rules. For example:
  • The table marks the end of the World. No one is ever allowed to place a tile unless it rests completely on the table. No shifting is ever allowed either. We carefully put the first tile on the table and everyone knows what the limits are from the start. This adds to the strategy: you can't keep enlarging a city or a road knowing more space will be added if needed: sooner or later you will have to wrap it up!
  • No placement, no turn. If a tile cannot legally be placed anywhere, the tile is removed from the game forever and the player loses his turn. Discarded tiles never can be used again, not even as a base for a hill.
  • Farmers don't fish. After placing a river tile you can place a meeple as a knight, highwayman or monk but never as a farmer.
In the past we used to score closed farms (that is, fields completely sorrounded by cities or roads) immediately during the game but we dropped this one.

I don't know if these can be considered house rules but we also do these modifications to our games:
  • A Tale of Two Seasons. Add a winter edition base game to a "normal" game. We start by placing both the normal and winter rivers, pointing in opposite direction. Then all the base game tiles are mixed in a bag. Drawn tiles can be placed only close to the same "biome" (white on white, green on green)
  • Leonardo's Flier. We created some special tiles with a fire icon on them. These tiles allows flying machines to extend their air time, multiplying the value of the dice (i.e. if you get 2 from the dice and by moving 2 tiles you reach a fire, you can keep flying for 2 more tiles.

Offline Broadstorm

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Re: Do you use house rules?
« Reply #19 on: January 07, 2023, 05:56:02 AM »
When we play with the river expansions (I have 2 copies of River 1 & 1 copy of River 2), we use the T as the starting tile so that there are 3 ways to build out from the start, then play the continuous river tiles & then the ends.
I'm not screwing up your city.  I'm building roads to it so that you can bring in materials.

Offline kothmann

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Re: Do you use house rules?
« Reply #20 on: January 07, 2023, 08:44:43 AM »
I have 2 copies of River 1 & 1 copy of River 2
That’s plenty to try “Untamed River” or “Wild River” where the River tiles get mixed in with the regular tiles!

Welcome to the Forum @Broadstorm.

Offline Broadstorm

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Re: Do you use house rules?
« Reply #21 on: January 08, 2023, 04:46:19 AM »
I have 2 copies of River 1 & 1 copy of River 2
That’s plenty to try “Untamed River” or “Wild River” where the River tiles get mixed in with the regular tiles!

Welcome to the Forum @Broadstorm.

I may try that out some time.  I am not sure which set I would do it with.  I am currently in the process of splitting off 2 sets.  I was already playing with nearly 300 tiles, but 2 recent orders from cundco.de getting me 50 tiles each & Mists Over Carcassonne getting me another 60 tiles, will make my set huge.  I would love to play a game on that scale, but I might not be able to convince anyone else so I am making a smaller set without MOC & a larger set with MOC.

The one large river does help reduce the megafarm issue.

Thank you.

Offline kothmann

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Re: Do you use house rules?
« Reply #22 on: January 08, 2023, 05:31:15 AM »
I am currently in the process of splitting off 2 sets.  I was already playing with nearly 300 tiles, but 2 recent orders from cundco.de getting me 50 tiles each & Mists Over Carcassonne getting me another 60 tiles, will make my set huge.
Shortly after I made that post, my wife convinced me the game would be better if it were smaller, so I set about assembling a  set of 60 tiles as my personal “base game” with lots of interesting tiles and reducing the tile count of all expansions as much as possible (e.g., only use the 6 Inns from I&C, since many of the other tiles were already in my base game.

I think she was right: we almost never play with more than 100 tiles now.  Better for us to play three 100-tile games with a mix of small expansions than to play one 300-tile game.  Although in truth I’m the only one who would be willing to play that long, so the real option is have anyone to play the 100-tile game with me.   ;D

Offline Broadstorm

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Re: Do you use house rules?
« Reply #23 on: January 08, 2023, 07:07:11 AM »
I am currently in the process of splitting off 2 sets.  I was already playing with nearly 300 tiles, but 2 recent orders from cundco.de getting me 50 tiles each & Mists Over Carcassonne getting me another 60 tiles, will make my set huge.
Shortly after I made that post, my wife convinced me the game would be better if it were smaller, so I set about assembling a  set of 60 tiles as my personal “base game” with lots of interesting tiles and reducing the tile count of all expansions as much as possible (e.g., only use the 6 Inns from I&C, since many of the other tiles were already in my base game.

I think she was right: we almost never play with more than 100 tiles now.  Better for us to play three 100-tile games with a mix of small expansions than to play one 300-tile game.  Although in truth I’m the only one who would be willing to play that long, so the real option is have anyone to play the 100-tile game with me.   ;D

I enjoy the larger scale, but the monasteries are definitely going into the smaller set.  They get really powerful in large scale games.

Offline Bumsakalaka

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Re: Do you use house rules?
« Reply #24 on: January 12, 2023, 06:17:26 AM »
We are not removing base game monasteries when playing German monasteries and/or Japanese buildings.

When playing multiple rivers or river II we always place lakes at the end of the stack. When playing river II junction tile T is mixed with order river tiles.

I think this is only changes in rules we have.

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Offline PapaGeek

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Re: Do you use house rules?
« Reply #25 on: January 12, 2023, 08:23:54 AM »
For the most part we do not play with many “house rules”, but we do play with a fair number of “sub-expansions”. For example: Exp 5, Abbey & Mayor, includes the Wagon.  We almost always include the wagon in our games, and sometimes the Abbey tile, but generally not the rest of the expansion. Exp 8, Bridges, Castles & Bazaars, is basically the same for us, we always use the bridges and sometimes the Castles, but hardly every the Bazaars.

Would it be considered “house rules” when you play with partial expansion, sub-expansions?

We are currently talking about the 15 tiles from the 20th Anniversary Expansion. They are made up of 5 tiles each for 3 different actions that can occur when you play one of these tiles. If we decide to only play with one or two of the tile actions, including only 5 or 10 of the tiles, is that a “House Rule”?

One of the things we love about Carcassonne is that there are about 100 different combinations of “sub-expansions” that we can decide to include in our next game.  We can play a different game each time we get together.  If a “normal game” usually takes about three hours, and we want to call it a night in only one or two hours, we can create the proper combination of “sub-expansions” to make the next game last that long!
« Last Edit: January 12, 2023, 08:35:58 AM by PapaGeek »
Totally addicted to this game

Offline Bumsakalaka

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Re: Do you use house rules?
« Reply #26 on: January 12, 2023, 09:05:13 AM »
We play sub expansions but I don't count it as house rules.
So we always play wagon, builder, pig, mayor, shepherd.
Sometimes we play only magic portal, only vineyards.
Hmm, but we have another house rule. To play with 8 meeples.
We try also to play bazaar as Emporio from Bang! But usually bazaar is considered just as a graphics element on tiles with any rules.
Maybe I was not truthful, maybe we use more house rules as I thought :)

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Offline kothmann

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Re: Do you use house rules?
« Reply #27 on: January 12, 2023, 11:25:26 PM »
…we do play with a fair number of “sub-expansions”.

Sounds similar to what @cicerunner calls “modules”:

I treat each expansion as a collection of modules and add those modules individually rather than considering each expansion as something that needs to be added whole.

I also always do this, mostly to keep the games small: well under 3 hours!

Quote
Would it be considered “house rules” when you play with partial expansion, sub-expansions?

For me, the answer is “yes”.  The 8 bazaar tiles include 2 CCCC tiles, which will tend to result in fewer completed cities.  This in turn reduces the points earned by farms, which tend to be larger with Exp 8 because of the bridges connecting fields in new and exciting ways.  The effect of omitting the CCCC bazaar tiles might be similar to a house rule saying 2-tile cities don’t count for farms.

As another example, Abbeys are often thought of as useful for filling an otherwise permanent “hole” in the landscape.  But they can also be used to prevent a small field with a barn from joining a large field with a barn, when that union would otherwise be very likely, for example if a FRFR tile would fit.  If you play barns without Abbeys, this “defensive” use of an Abbey to protect a valuable barn is eliminated and barns become weaker.    A similar, if more exaggerated, effect could arise from a house rule disallowing placement of an Abbey if any two occupied features of the same type border the space where the Abbey would be placed.

One more favorite example for me is playing Exp 2 without the builder.  Because all trade goods are in city segments with at least 2 open edges, it is almost always necessary to place 2 separate city “end caps” to close a city.  If you want to ensure you have the first draw at a tile to get the goods, you must never place the first such cap, unless you have a builder in that city, giving you a chance to place both caps in the same turn!  So, playing “T&B without the B” is definitely a “house rule” that affects the tactics of play!

In summary, playing with any subset of an expansion is likely to have effects on strategy and scoring that are similar to changes that we all agree would be “house rules,” and such subsets are not explicitly enumerated on the WICA.  Thus, they are house rules.

The good news is that since we all do this at least to some extent, there is no reason for “house rules” to be stigmatized!  Play the game you enjoy!

Quote
One of the things we love about Carcassonne is that there are about 100 different combinations of “sub-expansions” that we can decide to include in our next game.  We can play a different game each time we get together. 
Yes!  More photos of these epic games, please!

Offline PapaGeek

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Re: Do you use house rules?
« Reply #28 on: January 13, 2023, 11:37:20 AM »
OK kothmann, since you are asking for photos, let me add a couple.

When our group started playing Carcassonne during COVID, we had a problem finding Exp 8 to get the Bridges, so we got a piece of 3/8 oak trim and cut it into 1 ¾ inch strips to use as homemade bridges. Then we looked on line at your personal expansion, Old City, which includes Gates and Walls that will allow a road or field tile to be placed against the edge of a city.

Our thought now, for a house rule, is to rename our homemade “Bridges” as “Tile Modifiers” which can then be used as either bridges, gates, or walls.  The house rules would be that only one tile modifier can be used on each turn, just like the current rule for bridges, and that the Modifier can only be used as a Gate or Wall if it is filling a four sided hole, just like the current rule for the Abbey tile.

Let’s say that Red is trying to steal your 3 point Cathedral City, so you make his job harder by changing the needed tile space to a four sided hole:

Working with our possible house rules for Gates and Walls, you could then fill the hole with a CRCF tile and place a wall on the end of your super city.

But you could not use a CFCF tile to fill the hole because that would require using two Modifiers, a Gate and a Bridge, in a single turn.



Offline Broadstorm

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Re: Do you use house rules?
« Reply #29 on: January 16, 2023, 09:46:21 PM »
I found out recently that I was using 2 "house rules" because I wasn't aware of the exceptions with certain meeples.  I didn't know that abbots could be pulled back without finishing a feature.  I didn't know that a shepherd that gets closed in gets pulled back.  We still play it without correcting so the abbots are stuck until the cloister or flower bed gets finished & shepherds that get closed in are stuck there until the end of the game.


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